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NZ’s annual inflation spikes to highest in decade

According to Stats NZ, this was driven by higher prices for new housing and petrol

IANS | Wellington |

New Zealand’s annual inflation as measured by the consumers price index (CPI) increased to 3.3 percent in June 2021, the highest spike in a decade, the country’s statistics department said on Friday.

According to Stats NZ, this was driven by higher prices for new housing and petrol, Xinhua news agency.

Previously, annual inflation had peaked at 5.3 per cent in June 2011, impacted by a goods and services tax (GST) increase of 2.5 percentage points that came into effect in October 2010.

Before this, the annual inflation reached 5.1 per cent in the September 2008 quarter, during the time of the global financial crisis, it said.

Price increases were widespread, with 10 of the 11 main groups in the CPI basket having higher prices on average than a year ago, Stats NZ said.

Part of the annual increase was attributable to the fact that it is measured against the June 2020 quarter, a period impacted by the Covid-19 lockdown where some prices fell, it said.

“A year ago, in the June 2020 quarter, we saw lower petrol prices, as well as measures put in place during the Covid-19 lockdown such as cheaper public transport, which resulted in lower consumer prices that quarter,” prices senior manager Aaron Beck said in a statement.

“This magnified the overall increase somewhat,” Beck said, adding quarterly inflation was 1.3 percent, also the highest in over a decade.

The cost of building a new house was the biggest contributor to both annual and quarterly inflation this quarter, up 7.4 per cent for the year, and 4.6 per cent for the quarter, he said.

In addition, in the year to May 2021, NZ$18.3 billion of residential building work was consented, up 18 per cent on a year earlier, statistics show.